Fixed gears, no brakes, and eye-watering speeds – what more could an adrenaline junkie want? If you’ve never watched the sport of track cycling, I’d highly recommend visiting a velodrome (or at least watching it on TV during the Olympics this summer). It’s not just biking in circles. These insane athletes zip around the bowl-shaped track, vying for position like gravity-defying daredevils. Being aerodynamic is key, as demonstrated by this LEGO kinetic sculpture, built by George Panteleon.
Though the mechanism is simple, it’s so satisfying to see the rider’s legs “pedal” the bike. My favorite elements of this build (other than the fact that it actually moves) are the paint-roller handlebars and the shoulder armor turned helmet!
When young Youtube woodworker, Are Baloni decided to build an awesome transforming bookshelf, LEGO builder Deborah Higdon chose to take it a step further. Is it possible to make it with LEGO? That answer is yes, and the outcome is excellent! From the first picture, it looks normal, but wait until you see how it works!
It was a pleasure to meet Jason Allemann a few weeks back at BrickCon. He was our very funny keynote speaker and if you don’t know him by name, you may certainly know him as the builder who specializes in feats of engineering such as his now famous Sysiphus model and the two times his LEGO Ideas submissions became actual sets; once with the 21305 Ball Maze and the 21315 Pop-Up Book. If you were lucky enough to attend BrickCon this year, you may have had a chance to get your grubby little mitts on the exclusive convention model, which is of this LEGO builder building LEGO, built by Jason, also a LEGO builder. See, it’s totally meta! Like all of Jason’s models, movement is a key feature with this one. You turn a crank and this little fellow toils busily on his LEGO model of the BrickCon logo.
Also, if you happen to have a Power Functions motor you can hook that bad boy to it and this little guy will really cook! But don’t just take my word for it, watch this build video of the designer building the model, then later hooking up a motor to it. Brothers Brick’s own Chris Malloy did the graphic design for the packaging. Neat!
Builder Frost takes us to a forbidden planet where the plants have a mind of their own. We’ve featured some of his terrific space builds here in the past and he doesn’t disappoint in this latest offering. While this couldn’t be considered “Classic Space” in the LEGO sense, it exudes a wonderfully vintage vibe.
I’m a big fan of old science fiction pulp novels. Their covers, painted in lurid colors, have a certain take on weird fantasy visuals that doesn’t really exist anymore. This model really captures the feeling of those old covers with its oversized alien-looking, tentacled plants. I appreciate the thoughtful use of transparent pieces that really help sell the bizarreness of the landscape. In particular, I’m quite fond of the blue and purple lighting pieces and the pink half domes. The decision to use the Flash Gordon style suits on the space travelers further drives home the whole 1940s look.
Not satisfied with a purely stationary LEGO creation, Frost has built animation into it and as an added bonus, the large green egg-like centers glow under blacklight. As you can see in this video, the large tentacled plants move and sway, beckoning our heroes ever closer to what may be a gruesome fate.
The enormous, elephant-like oliphaunts (also known as Mûmakil to their Haradrim riders) wowed the hobbits Sam and Frodo as they made their way through Ithilien. Impressive as they may have been in the books and movies, this LEGO sculpture by Marcin Otreba adds movement to his bricks and brings the creature to life.
We recently featured a World War I dogfight kinetic sculpture by Jason from JK Brickworks. In his video, Jason promised to share variations on the theme, and he’s done so with this fantastic trench run scene from A New Hope. The little starfighters and greebly Death Star surface are excellent in their own right, but the movement takes this LEGO creation to the next level.
The video shows Luke’s X-wing evading Darth Vader’s TIE fighter, with turbolaser turrets swinging back and forth as well. Jason also takes the kinetic sculpture apart to explain how he added the extra motion for the turbolaser emplacements.
Brick-built aquariums are often extremely cool, but how many can say their LEGO sea-creatures actually move? My guess is not too many. But one clever builder, Mark Smiley, has managed to create an adorable little “LEGO Clockwork Aquarium” that does just that! With the turn of a crank, the fish move in a circle along the tank perimeter. There’s also a crab that hops up and down, and a starfish that spins! If you look closely, you can even see a little Easter Island head in the corner, and a shrimp in the helmet. The whole thing is modular and customizable. But just wait until you see it in action!